WWF to remove Vietnam’s tra fish from red list

Workers process tra fish at Cuu Long Seafood Export JS Co. in An Giang Province. The Mekong Delta is striving for export turnover of US$3 billion from the fish by 2020. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Workers process tra fish at Cuu Long Seafood Export JS Co. in An Giang Province. The Mekong Delta is striving for export turnover of US$3 billion from the fish by 2020. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

A senior officer from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has announced the nature watchdog’s decision to remove Vietnam’s Tra fish from the consumer Red List.

Mark Powell, WWF’s global seafood leader, released advice for consumers worldwide to continue using Vietnam’s Tra fish at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 15 after a working session with the Fisheries General Department and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

He said WWF agreed to immediately remove Vietnam’s Tra and Basa fish from the Red List in consumer guides published in several European countries.

The WWF expert described the working session as positive despite some minor differences, which, he said, would not affect bilateral relations in future.

VASEP Vice President Nguyen Huu Dung affirmed the Vietnamese Government’s commitments to develop Tra and Basa fish farming in a sustainable way.

In fact, the Vietnamese Tra fish industry has always updated its knowledge and applied the most advanced international standards in an effort to satisfy increasingly demanding consumers worldwide, Dung said.

A majority of Vietnamese Tra fish farms and processors have either already built or are currently building closed production chains to ensure tight supervision of any element that might have negative impacts on the quality and safety of Tra fish. Many enterprises have successfully applied traceability procedures with radio-frequency identification technology and have also taken social responsibility for their local community.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Deputy Head of the Fisheries General Department, said Vietnam will have another working session with WWF on December 16 to reach a consensus on sustainable development of aquaculture in general and Tra fish farming in particular.

The Seafood General Department reported that Vietnam’s tra fish products were available in 120 foreign markets, meeting all of the strict requirements required by the European Union, Australia, the US, Japan and many other demanding markets.

Tra fish export output increases annually, with the EU market alone consuming 184,360 tonnes of Vietnam’s tra fish, valued at 423 million USD, in the first 10 months of the year, accounting for almost 37 percent of the gross tra fish export turnover./.

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